What makes this the Okanagan so Awesome?
For me personally, I dig the food.
When you’re in a rush, stalking the streets in ravenous hunger that only a proper meal can satiate, it can be hard to think straight. That’s when you need good, real food to recharge and get you through the week.
The Blue Dog Café, at 526B Bernard Ave. in downtown Kelowna, is one of the best examples of local love and local cuisine in the same hot spot.
Entering the quaint eatery and taking a quick glance at the menu is all you need to see this isn’t your average bistro. Preparing all their distinct dressings, sauces, chutneys, salsa and most everything else from scratch that goes into their menu means waiting a little bit longer to get your food. It also means they’re putting care, trust and love into their cuisine, and that is a difference you can taste.
This small-city café with big aspirations reminds me of some of the more exciting adventures I’ve had in Vancouver at the 24-hour vegetarian restaurant, the Naam, on West 4th. So it comes as a happy surprise to me that this tasty treat comes to us from a charming town straddling the B.C.-Alberta border.
It was 1998 in Invermere when the first Dog was born. It wasn’t until 10 years later that the litter spread to Kelowna and we saw our very own Blue Dog.
It’s taken much less time for certain locals to discover this diverse resto that supports local and organic food.
A large plus to having their hands in everything they do is they know what goes into their food, and more importantly, what doesn’t. They are more than willing to prepare food to your dietary and allergic restrictions, meaning indulging in a one-of-a-kind experience isn’t out of the question, or even out of reach for the average diner.
Out-sourcing their baking to Kelowna’s Specialty Bakery (833 Finns Road) means a lot for a local economy of incredible, edible, delicious businesses that run both the town, and my stomach.
While their food is geared more towards a healthy, West Coast lifestyle (with more than 80 recipes, most are 100 per cent vegetarian), they do have meals for the carnivore about to explode on a busy lunch hour.
One expects to see a café such as this in Victoria or Vancouver, just another sign Kelowna is home to a larger variety of inspired people, interested in making things better for everyone.
Nestled next to Hemp City, a short jaunt from the Boh, and minutes from the beach, this part of town isn’t new to any of us, just less-frequented in the winter.
Take a bit of extra time to find this spot and support our local businesses and families.
Brandon Fletcher is the creative director at Habitat and an A-OK contributor.